Urban Renewal Awards–First Stop, High Line Park, Manhattan
The latest trend in urban design is blurring the line between civilization and nature to create parks from contaminated sites, landfills, and abandoned manufacturing plants. This week, I want to focus on green spaces that were once urban eyesores and are now popular spots to walk, bike, and simply be outdoors. For decades, the High Line served as an elevated railway track that brought freight into Manhattan. By 1980, the trains had stopped running and the tracks were sliding into decay that, somewhat remarkable, was also a kind of blossoming. Nature re-established itself as saplings and wind-sown grasses sprouted in the rail beds. The trees took root and so did an inkling of an idea, almost Seuss-like, to create a public space that would be 30-feet high above the city and nearly 1.5 miles long. What a way to see New York, from above!